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Castles of the Rhine Valley

N 508.001', E 741.632'
2011-06-08
http://www.loreley-info.com/eng/rhein-rhine/castles.php
Our rating: 8.80
Overall rating:

Rhine valley is a section of the river from Bonn to Bingen. In this article, we will focus on the lower part from Koblenz to Bingen. This area is included in the list of world cultural heritage by UNESCO.

The area can boast not only stunningly beautiful nature, but also about 40 castles on mountain slopes! However, most of them have been destroyed and rebuilt in the 19-20 centuries.

When we planned our walk, the transport was not even discussed. This is certainly a bicycle! Although, there are roads and railway tracks on both banks of the Rhine. Our route was as follows. In Koblenz we hired bikes for 10 euros and took the train to Rüdesheim. Don't forget to buy an extra ticket for the bike.

Our plans were to visit Rüdesheim and the cable car to the statue of Germany. So, if you get to Bingen, you can cross the river by ferry to Rüdesheim and then return back. We, however, had walked in Rüdesheim and then went by ferry to Bingen (ferry schedule is here).

In Bingen, we visited the tourist information office (here) and took a map. Further, just ride in the direction of Koblenz. It's impossible to get lost as on one side are mountains and on the other side is the Rhine. The advantage of this trip is that you can take a train if you get tired or if it rains. We use took the train on the Niederheimbach - Bacharach, Oberwesel - St. Goar and St. Goarshausen - Braubach sections.

From Sankt Goar we crossed the river to Sankt Goarshausen (ferry schedule), don't miss this place! From here you can go by bus to the observation deck of the Loreley rock, which offers the best views of the Rhine valley. Find the bus around the place where the ferry stops.

View of the Rhine valley from the Lorelei rock
View of the Rhine valley from the Lorelei rock Yuriy Buriak


Ferry Sankt Goar - Sankt Goarshausen
Ferry Sankt Goar - Sankt Goarshausen Yuriy Buriak

We didn't plan to visit the castles, but in general it's possible. However, it's inconvenient that the castles are located on the mountain slopes and it's quite hard to approach them. Below is the list of major castles in the area from Rüdesheim to Koblenz.

Check out the map of the Rhine castles here.

Ehrenfels Castle Ruins
49° 58' 31" N, 7° 52' 50" O
These ruins are located in a 30-minute walk from Rüdesheim. The interior was closed in 2012.

Ehrenfels Castle
Ehrenfels Castle Yuriy Buriak

Rheinstein Castle
www.burg-rheinstein.de
49° 59' 37,3" N, 7° 51' 30,3" O
Visits are possible only by appointment and for large groups. For details, go to the website.

Rheinstein Castle
Rheinstein Castle Yuriy Buriak

Reichenstein Castle
www.burg-reichenstein.de
50° 0' 18,5" N, 7° 51' 12,6" O
The visit is possible, check out information at the website - prices and opening hours.

Reichenstein Castle
Reichenstein Castle Yuriy Buriak

Sooneck Castle
50° 1' 10" N, 7° 49' 30" O
Is open to visitors.

Heimburg Castle
50° 2' 2,1" N, 7° 48' 23,8" O
Is privately owned, closed to tourists.

Furstenberg/Rheindibah Castle Ruins
50° 2' 30,2" N, 7° 47' 14,6" O
Is closed for reconstruction.

Fuerstenberg/Rheindiebach Castle
Fuerstenberg/Rheindiebach Castle Yuriy Buriak

Stahleck Castle
50°03'29"N 7°45'56"E
There's a youth hostel in the castle and you cannot visit the interior, but can walk in the courtyard.

Stahleck Castle
Stahleck Castle Yuriy Buriak


Stahleck Castle and houses in Bacharach
Stahleck Castle and houses in Bacharach Yuriy Buriak

Pfalzgrafenstein Castle
50° 4' 59,2" N, 7° 45' 56,6" O
Stands on an island in the middle of the river, is open to visitors.

Pfalzgrafenstein Castle
Pfalzgrafenstein Castle Yuriy Buriak

Schoenburg Castle
www.burghotel-schoenburg.de
50° 6' 4,5" N, 7° 43' 56" O
There are a hotel and a restaurant in the castle.

Gutenfels Castle
50° 5' 16,1" N, 7° 45' 56,2" O
There is a hotel in the castle.

Katz (Cat) Castle
www.burg-katz.de
50° 9' 6,5" N, 7° 43' 26,9" O
There is a hotel in the castle. Is closed for tourists.

Katz Castle
Katz Castle Yuriy Buriak


Sankt Goarshausen and Katz Castle
Sankt Goarshausen and Katz Castle Yuriy Buriak


Katz Castle
Katz Castle Yuriy Buriak

Maus (Mouse) Castle
www.burg-maus.de
50° 10' 18,8" N, 7° 41' 45,6" O
Visiting is possible on certain days, the schedule is on the website. Or for groups by appointment.

Liebenstein Castle Ruins
www.burg-liebenstein.de
50° 12' 44,3" N, 7° 38' 7,6" O
There are a hotel and restaurant in the castle.

Shterrenberg Castle Ruins
www.burg-sterrenberg.de
50° 12' 48,3" N, 7° 37' 59,3" O
There are a hotel, a cafe and a restaurant in the castle. Is open for visitors.

Marksburg Fortress
www.marksburg.de
50°16'18.50"N 7°38'57.00"E
The only undefeated altitude fortress on the Rhine. Check out information about the tours here.

Marksburg Fortress
Marksburg Fortress Yuriy Buriak

Lahneck Castle
www.burg-lahneck.de
50° 18' 22,6" N, 7° 36' 44,9" O
Is open to visitors, check out information at the website.

Stolzenfels Castle
www.schloss-stolzenfels.de
50° 18' 11.6" N, 7° 35' 32.7" E
Is open to visitors, check out information at the website.

Useful links:
Information about the bicycle route
Maps of bicycle routes in the region

Route map:

Bicycle route along the Rhine valley
Bicycle route along the Rhine valley Yuriy Buriak


Castles of the Rhine valley
Castles of the Rhine valley Yuriy Buriak


Bicycle route along the Rhine valley
Bicycle route along the Rhine valley Yuriy Buriak

Getting there: You can easily get here by train from any city on Rhein between Cologne and Mainz. You can also get here from Frankfurt. Travel time from different cities: Cologne - Rüdesheim - 2 hours 20 minutes, Bonn - Rüdesheim - 2 hours, Koblenz - Rüdesheim - 1 hour.

Tags, Germany: castle, river

Tags, all countries: castle, river
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